Credit: Ryan Saradjola

Far Out Meets: Lily Moore, the rising pop star inspired by the life around her

Lily Moore is the very definition of a rising star. The 21-year-old musician has just finished supporting George Ezra at the Royal Albert Hall, something she describes as “Mental!”. “I still kind of can’t believe I did it,” she laughs. “I did an interview the week before and mentioned I’d always wanted to play there, then a few days later I’d done it. It’s always been a dream of mine, you know, it’s every musician’s dream. It felt quite surreal, like a fantasy.”

Moore — originally from West London, where she now lives again after moving to Brighton — has had a hugely impressive past few years. She’s already released two EPs, Not That Special and I Will Never Be, and has supported a number of the most popular names in modern music — Freya Ridings, James Bay, Vance Joy, to name jus ta few. Her latest track, ‘In-Between’, with Maverick Sabre, was Radio 1’s Tune Of The Week.

“It sounds a bit naff, but this has always been what I’ve wanted to do, I’ve never really thought about anything else,” she tells me. While finishing her GCSEs in Brighton, Moore played a local show for unsigned artists at The Great Escape. “I’d played open mics, at dinner parties I’d always be asked to play a few songs, but The Great Escape was the first professional, industry thing I’d done, where there were people who’d actually take notice of you — it was how I met my manager. It came at a bloody brilliant time actually, as I was just finishing my GCSEs and didn’t really want to do A levels, and I was just like: ‘I’m gonna have to do A levels, aren’t I?’ to my mum, then I did that and it just went from there.”

Growing up, Moore didn’t find herself connecting with a lot of the music she was hearing — “The Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls, they didn’t sound like what I wanted to sound like. A bit later on, there was a period when Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Adele, were on the scene, and I found them a lot more inspiring.” Her voice has more than a hint of Winehouse in it, and she describes her lyrics as “Very honest and very personal” something, in her own words, she’s “always wanted to be.” The sincerity in Moore’s lyrics is immediately evident — she’s unafraid to say what she thinks and how she feels. The frank opening lines of ‘Over You’ alone perfectly exemplify her approach to songwriting. “A lot of what I write is about my experiences, life as a 21-year-old. I think it’s important as a young woman to be honest, to be saying these things,” she explained before adding that she feels, “Over time I’ve become less worried about what people think, what my boyfriend or my friends might think. I’ve become a lot more confident on stage, doing a lot of gigs has helped that.” Playing the gig circuit has also led to her launching her own residency, More Moore, at Mau Mau.

It goes without saying that music takes up the majority of her time, but what does Moore get up to when she’s not on stage or in the studio? “I just like doing what every other 21-year old-does. Going to the pub with friends, going to gigs. That’s what keeps me inspired, as I just want to write about what people my age are doing.”

Up next, Moore’s going on tour across the UK with Tom Walker and is playing BBC Introducing Live at London’s Tobacco Dock, before headlining at XOYO at the end of November. Touring with Walker will take her to Dublin — “I’ve never played Ireland, so that’s somewhere new!” Anywhere else she’d like to tick off? “I’ve never played in Spain either, but I’d love to.”